A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume VII
No. 4 (40) - November-December 1950

[Cover photo: William Quan Judge and Col. Henry Steel Olcott. (Reproduced from The American Theosophist, Vol. XV, May, 1914.)]


A Living Philosophy for Humanity

Published every Two Months. Sponsored by an International Group of Theosophists.
Objectives: To disseminate the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom. To uphold and promote the Original Principles of the modern Theosophical Movement, as set forth by H.P. Blavatsky and her Teachers. To challenge bigotry and superstition in every form. To foster mutual understanding and co-operation among all students of Theosophy, irrespective of their affiliation.
Editor: Boris de Zirkoff.
Contributing Editors: Irene R. Ponsonby, J. Emory Clapp, Arthur I. Joquel, Nancy Browning.
Committee of Sponsors: T. Marriot, G. Cardinal Legros, Jan H. Venema, Col. J. M. Prentice, Dudley W. Barr, Dr. Sven Eck.
Business Manager: Norine G. Chadil.

Subscription: $1.50 a year (six issues); single copy 25 cents. Send all subscriptions, renewals and correspondence to: Room 201, 636 South Serrano Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California. Make checks payable to "Theosophia."

None of the organized Theosophical Societies, as such, are responsible for any ideas expressed in this magazine, unless contained in an official document. The Editors are responsible for unsigned articles only.



"... In order to have your proof, you must work for it. In all this great universe there is no proof obtainable except by work; whether work of the body; work of the eye; work of the mind, that great overseer which sums up the results

of all other classes of work; work there must be or proof there is none ... the only proof lies in man's own experience. There is no other that does not melt away like the hoar frost on the mountain, like the foam dashed from the turbulent sea ...

"... We should each seek to give our own proofs. No more is needed. No more can be asked. The proofs lie within ourselves; your daily acts fecundate them, your lives are their heralds. You have but to speak them. There is not one of us from whom all the rest may not learn something of proof, were that proof but brought before them. And is it not a duty which we owe to our belief, to demonstrate the real amplitude of its base?

"Or perhaps it is proof of our ideals that men ask. What kind of proof, think you, would hold good of an ideal? I can conceive no other proof than its action upon the life. Were I asked, 'Who are these men who have attained in ever so small measure to some proof of these great truths?' I would make answer thus: They are those who have looked upon a far star beyond the tempest. They, are those who have worked and toiled and waited, who being crushed have arisen, who having fallen have struggled and have arisen again and again. They are those who have done this for the sole and pure sake of the realization of an ideal which assures them that the salvation of one is inextricably bound up in the salvation of all. They are those who have seen the mighty image of Unity and Harmony far beyond the contemplation of the mere mortal mind, and who work on towards it regardless of themselves, caught up in the glory of that immortal ideal. For the proof of a man is his life. The proof of an Ideal is its life in the soul." - Mrs. J.C. Keightley in The Path, Vol. VIII, February, 1894, pp. 343, 350-5. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

The Winter Solstice season is with us again.

At this sacred and mystic time of the yearly cycle, at the mid-point of our century, we pause for reflection and inner appraisal.

The elemental powers of the outer world are feverishly at work to arrest or confuse the progress of the spiritual awakening of mankind, and their obedient emissaries and devotees prepare and polish the weapons for another human holocaust.

Yet the spiritual powers of the inner and invisible world, guiding the faltering steps of the human hosts, are gaining momentum and reach with their shafts of light into recesses never before illumined with the greater light of Truth.

The final termination of an historic era is close at hand. We hear its knell, echoed through the corridors of time. We see its ghastly shadows flit across the fields of human sorrow, as the gaunt spectre of materialism and brutal selfishness recedes into the gloom of bygone centuries, under the victorious pressure of the Powers of Light.

The bewildering confusion of human minds, the restlessness of human emotions, the inadequacies of human conduct, are but the natural reactions to the influx of new and unfamiliar energies to which the inertia of earthly man is unable to adapt itself. The Wind of the Spirit is blowing over the murky waters of human passions, and its challenging and invigorating power brings to the surface the dark and evil motives of men, so that they can be purged, purified and cleansed.

Thought is forever victorious over emotion. Reason - over blind belief. A man is great in proportion to his thought; so is a civilization. The thought-world of the Occident, apart from the rays of genius which have at times illumined it, has been based upon the worship of brute force, the exploitation of the ignorant and weak, the hypnotic stranglehold of ecclesiastical theologies, and the consistent denial of the spiritual factors at work in the consciousness of man.

The world of Oriental culture, in spite of its temporary downfall and its primitive ways in terms of Occidental standards, has been permeated by the currents of spiritual thought, and has embodied in its literature, its art, and its religious life, at least a portion of the sublime message left to mankind by the Sages and Seers of bygone days.

And the Orient is astir with a new life.

The question we may well ask of ourselves and of others is: Has the time come for the Orient to fecundate once more the barren and desolate fields of the Occident, with the life-seeds of a new world-conception? It has done so before. Will it do so again? Ex oriente lux!

The redeeming power for mankind does not lie in the political and economic schemes which for a time affect and discipline its outward forms of life. It lies in the thought-currents which outline a new and greater world-outlook, and manifest themselves in a faulty and partial manner in the institutions and social reforms built by the hand of man. Behind the mere forms is consciousness at work. Behind consciousness - the cosmic impulse to growth.

And when we turn our eyes away from the clash of mere outer forms, and try to perceive that consciousness at work - lo and behold! Like unto the Winter Solstice season, the Sun of the Spirit turns northward again, and rises in the sky of human aspiration, with healing in its wings! [4]


H.P. Blavatsky
(Originally published in The Theosophist, Vol. I, December, 1879, pp. 58-59.)

We are reaching the time of the year when the whole Christian world is preparing to celebrate the most noted of its solemnities - the birth of the Founder of their religion. When this paper reaches its Western subscribers, there will be festivity and rejoicing in every house. In North-Western Europe and in America the holly and ivy will decorate each home, and the churches be decked with evergreens; a custom derived from the ancient practices of the pagan Druids "that sylvan spirits might flock to the evergreens, and remain unnipped by the frost till a milder season." In Roman Catholic countries large crowds flock during the whole evening and night of "Christmas-eve" to the churches, to salute waxen images of the divine Infant, and his Virgin mother, in her garb of "Queen of Heaven." To an analytical mind, this bravery of rich gold and lace, pearl-broidered satin and velvet, and the bejewelled cradle do seem rather paradoxical. When one thinks of the poor-worm-eaten, dirty manger of the Jewish country-inn, in which, if we must credit the Gospel, the future "Redeemer" was placed at his birth for lack of a better shelter, we cannot help suspecting that before the dazzled eyes of the unsophisticated devotee the Bethlehem stable vanishes altogether. To put it in the mildest terms, this gaudy display tallies ill with the democratic feelings and the truly divine contempt for riches of the "Son of Man," who had "not where to lay his head." It makes it all the harder for the average Christian to regard the explicit statement that - "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven," as anything more than a rhetorical threat. The Roman Church acted wisely in severely forbidding her parishioners to either read or interpret the Gospels for themselves, and leaving the Book, as long as it was possible, to proclaim its truths in Latin - "the voice of one crying in the wilderness." In that, she but followed the wisdom of the ages - the wisdom of the old Aryans, which is also "justified of her children"; for, as neither the modern Hindu devotee understands a word of Sanskrit, nor the modern Parsi one syllable of the Zend, so for the average Roman Catholic the Latin is no better than Hieroglyphics. The result is that all the three - Brahmanical High Priest, Zoroastrian Mobed, and Roman Catholic Pontiff, are allowed unlimited opportunities for evolving new religious dogmas out of the depths of their own fancy, for the benefit of their respective churches.

To usher in this great day, the bells are set merrily ringing at midnight, throughout England and the Continent. In France and Italy, after the celebration of the Mass in churches magnificently decorated, "it is usual for the revelers to partake of a collation (reveillon) that they may he better able to sustain the fatigues of the night," saith a book treating upon the Popish church ceremonials. This night of Christian fasting reminds one of the Sivaratree of the followers of the god Siva, - the great day of gloom and fasting, in the eleventh month of the Hindu year. Only, with the latter, the night's long vigil is preceded and followed by a strict and rigid fasting. No reveillon or compromises for them. True, they are but wicked "heathens," and therefore their way to salvation must be tenfold harder.

Though now universally observed by Christian nations as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus, the 25th of December was not originally so accepted. The most movable of the Christian feast days, during the early centuries, Christmas was often confounded with the Epiphany, and celebrated in the months of April and May. As there never was any authentic record, or proof of its identification, whether in secular or ecclesiastical history, the selection of that day long remained optional; and it was only during the fourth century that, urged by Cyril of [4] Jerusalem, the Pope (Julius I) ordered the bishops to make an investigation and come finally to some agreement as to the presumable date of the nativity of Christ. Their choice fell upon the 25th of December, - and a most unfortunate choice it has since proved! It was Dupuis, followed by Volney, who aimed the first shots at this natal anniversary. They proved that for incalculable periods before our era, upon very clear astronomical data, nearly all the ancient peoples had celebrated the births of their sun-gods on that very day. "Dupuis shows that the celestial sign of the VIRGIN AND CHILD was in existence several thousand years before Christ" - remarks Higgins in his Anacalypsis. As Dupuis, Volney, and Higgins have all been passed over to posterity as infidels, and enemies of Christianity, it may be well to quote, in this relation, the confessions of the Christian Bishop of Ratisbone, "the most learned man that the Middle Ages produced" - the Dominican, Albertus Magnus. "The sign of the celestial Virgin rises above the horizon at the moment in which we fix the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ," he says, in the Recherches historiques sur Falaise, par Langevin pretre. So Adonis, Bacchus, Osiris, Apollo, etc., were all born on the 25th of December. Christmas comes just at the time of the winter solstice; the days then are shortest, and Darkness is more upon the face of the earth than ever. All the sun-gods were believed to be annually born at that epoch; for from this time its Light dispels more and more darkness with each succeeding day, and the power of the Sun begins to increase.

However it may be, the Christmas festivities that were held by the Christians for nearly fifteen centuries, were of a particularly pagan character. Nay, we are afraid that even the present ceremonies of the Church can hardly escape the reproach of being almost literally copied from the mysteries of Egypt and Greece, held in honour of Osiris and Horus, Apollo and Bacchus. Both Isis and Ceres were called "Holy Virgins," and a DIVINE BASE may be found in every "heathen" religion. We will now draw two pictures of the Merrie Christmas; one portraying the "good old times," and the other the present state of Christian worship. From the first days of its establishment as Christmas, the day was regarded in the double light of a holy commemoration and a most cheerful festivity: it was equally given up to devotion and insane merriment. "Among the revels of the Christmas season were the so-called feasts of fools and of asses, grotesque saturnalia, which were termed 'December liberties,' in which everything serious was burlesqued, the order of society reversed, and its decencies ridiculed" - says one compiler of old chronicles. "During the Middle Ages, it was celebrated by the gay fantastic spectacle of dramatic mysteries, performed by personages in grotesque masks and singular costumes. The show usually represented an infant in a cradle, surrounded by the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, by bulls' heads, cherubs, Eastern Magi (the Mobeds of old), and manifold ornaments." The custom of singing canticles at Christmas, called Carols, was to recall the songs of the shepherds at the Nativity. "The bishops and the clergy often joined with the populace in caroling, and songs were enlivened by dances and by the music of tambours, guitars, violins and organs ..." We may add that down to the present times, during the days preceding Christmas, such mysteries are being enacted, with marionettes and dolls, in Southern Russia, Poland, and Galicia; and known as the Kaliadowki. In Italy Calabrian minstrels descend from their mountains to Naples and Rome and crowd the shrines of the Virgin-Mother, cheering her with their wild music.

In England, the revels used to begin on Christmas-eve, and continue often till Candlemas (Feb. 2) every day being a holiday till Twelfth-night (Jan. 6). In the houses of great nobles a "lord of misrule," or "abbot of unreason" was appointed, whose duty it was to play the part of buffoon. "The larder was filled with capons, hens, turkeys, geese, ducks, beef, mutton, pork, pies, puddings, nuts, plums, sugar and honey." ... "A glowing fire, made of great logs, the principal of which was termed the 'Yule log,' or Christmas block, which [6] might be burnt till Candlemas eve, kept out the cold; and the abundance was shared by the lord's tenants amid music, conjuring, riddles, hot-cockles, foolplough, snap-dragon, jokes, laughter, repartees, forfeits and dances."

In our modern times, the bishops and the clergy join no more with the populace in open caroling and dancing; and feasts of "fools and asses" are enacted more in sacred privacy than under the eyes of the dangerous, argus-eyed reporter. Yet the eating and drinking festivities are preserved throughout the Christian world; and, more sudden deaths are doubtless caused by gluttony and intemperance during the Christmas and Easter holidays, than at any other time of the year. Yet, Christian worship becomes every year more and more a false pretense. The heartlessness of this lip-service has been denounced innumerable times, but never, we think, with more affecting touch of realism than in a charming dream-tale, which appeared in the New York Herald about last Christmas. An aged man, presiding at a public meeting, said he would avail himself of the opportunity to relate a vision he had witnessed on the previous night. "He thought he was standing in the pulpit of the most gorgeous and magnificent cathedral he had ever seen. Before him was the priest or pastor of the church, and beside him stood an angel with a tablet and pencil in hand, whose mission it was to make record of every act of worship or prayer that transpired in his presence and ascended as an acceptable offering to the throne of God. Every pew was filled with richly-attired worshipers of either sex. The most sublime music that ever fell on his enraptured ear filled the air with melody. All the beautiful ritualistic Church services, including a surpassingly eloquent sermon from the gifted minister, had in turn transpired, and yet the recording angel made no entry in his tablet! The congregation were at length dismissed by the pastor with a lengthy and beautifully-worded prayer, followed by a benediction, and yet the angel made no sign!

"Attended still by the angel, the speaker left the door of the church in rear of the richly-attired congregation. A poor, tattered castaway stood in the gutter beside the curbstone, with her pale, famished hand extended, silently pleading for alms. As the richly-attired worshipers from the church passed by, they shrank from the poor Magdalen, the ladies withdrawing aside their silken, jewel-bedecked robes, lest they should be polluted by her touch.

"Just then an intoxicated sailor came reeling down the side-walk on the other side. When he got opposite the poor forsaken girl, he staggered across the street to where she stood, and, taking a few pennies from his pocket, he thrust them into her hand, accompanied with the adjuration, 'Here, you poor forsaken cuss, take this!' A celestial radiance now lighted up the face of the recording angel, who instantly entered the sailor's act of sympathy and charity in his tablet, and departed with it as a sweet sacrifice to God."

A concretion, one might say, of the Biblical story of the judgment upon the woman taken in adultery. Be it so; yet it portrays with a master hand the state of our Christian society.

According to tradition, on Christmas-eve, the oxen may always be found on their knees, as though in prayer and devotion; and, "there was a famous hawthorn in the churchyard of Glastonbury Abbey, which always budded on the 24th, and blossomed on the 25th of December"; which, considering that the day was chosen by the Fathers of the church at random, and that the calendar has been changed from the old to the new style, shows a remarkable perspicacity in both the animal and the vegetable! There is also a tradition of the church, preserved to us by Olaus, archbishop of Upsala, that, at the festival of Christmas, "the men, living in the cold Northern parts, are suddenly and strangely metamorphosed into wolves; and that a huge multitude of them meet together at an appointed place and rage so [7] fiercely against mankind, that it suffers more from their attacks than ever they do from the natural wolves." Metaphorically viewed, this would seem to be more than ever the case with men, and particularly with Christian nations, now. There seems no need to wait for Christmas-eve to see whole nations changed into "wild beasts" - especially in time of war.



Hope is one of the most unsubstantial of our sentiments, and yet it is so ingrained in our consciousness that no one is without it in degree and in one form or another.

Mentality and the human reasoning functions may appear at times to find satisfactory causes in biological, hereditary or environmental conditions, but when all is said of these factors there is always something perceptible of a different nature which is beyond analysis.

Hope may be defined as "a sub-conscious awareness of a super-conscious attraction to a superior state or condition." This definition contains in it the implication of a progressive upward (!) evolution and unfoldment; and, being innate in all human beings, it also suggests the almost certain continuing re-embodiment of the entity, in order to fulfil its desires and ultimate destiny - whatever that maybe. The basic idea is applicable to mundane affairs and situations, for, however depressing they may be at times, there is the inner recognition that they are temporary, and that there is a better future in the course of the revolving cycles, even if it be in an after-death experience.

Were it not for this innate HOPE, very often the conditions and stresses which individuals are subject to would bring about a static state of inertia, or, in extreme cases, the effort to live would largely cease, with the result that death would occur in a similar way by which certain natives in the Pacific Ocean areas, which are of old Atlantean stock, die at will, or lack of will to live.


Are you able to simply shine whether you are noticed or not?
Can you see those now below you in the ranks suddenly take some foremost place you had wished yourself to occupy?
Can you stand giving up your present work to some one better fitted to do it?
Can you stand seeing your name in print without feeling that delicious sensation up and down your back?
Can you feel the same sensation with equal joy when another's name appears in brighter colors in the same print?
Can you stand being praised?
Can you stand hearing someone else praised?
Can you stand being left to stand alone and unnoticed by the Teacher?
You can? Very well then, go ahead and WORK! - From the Irish Theosophist. [8]


Boris de Zirkoff

A remarkable new discovery in the field of geology has just been reported by William S. Barton of the Los Angles Times (issue of November 5, 1950). A 1000-mile-long mountain range, peaks of which rise to a height of 14,000 feet, but are hidden a mile beneath the waves of the Pacific Ocean, has been mapped between Hawaii and Wake Island. From the standpoint of its size, it is comparable to the mighty Sierra Nevada system.

This discovery, which, according to W.S. Barton, "may rank as one of the year's outstanding scientific achievements," was made by a joint 29,000-mile expedition of the University of California and the U.S. Navy, which has recently returned to San Diego. According to Dr. Roger Revelle, acting director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and expedition leader, the mid-Pacific mountains represent only one of several major discoveries made by the scientific explorers. It appears from the report of the expedition that what previously appeared on charts as isolated shoal points in the great expanse of the Pacific, are actually the summits of a 40-mile-wide continuous mountain system which stretches 1,100 miles east-west from Necker Island, near Hawaii, to Wake Island. Tops of the mountains are flat, as though they had been washed away by wave action when the peaks were still close to the surface. The summits are submerged to depths ranging from 5,400 to 6,000 feet. The south side of the mighty underwater range is a gently sloping cliff which towers to heights of 14,000 feet, or almost that of Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the United States. The expedition dredged clam, snail and sea urchin shells, as well as reef coral, from one of the mile-deep summits. Considering the well-known fact that such coral grows normally only within 100 feet or so of the surface, it was calculated that peaks of the range must have been only a few feet below the surface of the water some 40 million years ago. The scientists dredged also rounded cobbles, obviously shaped in shallow water, but now at 13,000 feet below the surface of the ocean.

Operation Midpac, as this scientific expedition is called, confirmed previously made suggestions that coral atolls are formed by reefs growing around old volcanoes. These atolls proved to be enormous piles of lime-like material superimposed on extinct volcanic peaks. Thus they represent the largest structures ever made by living creatures and dwarf in size the Pyramids of Egypt. The expedition mapped a 4-inch layer of almost pure manganese on the summits of the sunken mountains. The purest form was found in the form of rough surfaced balls which, when cracked open, were found to contain prehistoric shark teeth, ear bones of whales, and bits of volcanic rock. How the manganese flowed about these objects without being in a molten condition remains a mystery.

Another notable achievement was the finding that the ocean floor was the scene in recent geological times of indescribably violent movements. The expedition concluded that the mid-Pacific mountains probably became submerged because of the sinking of the sea floor itself. Great quantities of ash were dredged up, indicating wide-spread volcanic eruptions. To quote direct from the article in the Los Angeles Times:

"Intriguing as it is speculative is the suggestion that tremendous range once formed the 'ceiling' of the legendary lost continent of the Pacific. Some years ago, Dr. H.E. Crampton, Columbia University zoologist, presented indirect evidence of the existence of such a sunken continent ... 'The continent [said Dr. Crampton] might have been several thousand miles long and 3,500 miles wide - if we take Hawaii as a possible boundary. The Polynesians firmly [9] believe in the lost continent, their legends telling vaguely of such a world.'"

Such, in brief, is the result of the work of the expedition. This result, as well as its deductions, are of the greatest interest to the student of the Esoteric Philosophy, as it constitutes another and startling vindication of the teachings brought forward by H.P. Blavatsky.

As early as August, 1880, H.P. Blavatsky wrote in The Theosophist as follows:

"1. We have as evidence the most ancient traditions of various and widely-separated peoples - legends in India, in ancient Greece, Madagascar, Sumatra, Java, and all the principal isles of Polynesia, as well as those of both Americas. Among savages, as in the traditions of the richest literature in the world - the Sanskrit literature of India - there is an agreement in saying that, ages ago, there existed in the Pacific Ocean, a large continent which, by a geological upheaval, was engulfed by the sea. And it is our firm belief - held, of course, subject to correction - that most, if not all of the islands from the Malayan Archipelago to Polynesia, are fragments of that once immense submerged continent. Both Malacca and Polynesia, which lie at the two extremities of the Ocean and which, since the memory of man, never had nor could have any intercourse with, or even knowledge of each other, have yet a tradition, common to all the islands' and islets, that their respective countries extended far, far out into the sea; that there were in the world but two immense continents, one inhabited by yellow, the other by dark men; and that the ocean, by command of the gods and to punish them for their incessant quarreling, swallowed them up.

"2. Notwithstanding the geographical fact that New Zealand, and Sandwich, and Easter Islands, are at a distance, from each other, of between 800 and 1,000 leagues; and that, according to every testimony, neither these nor any other intermediate islands, for instance, the Marquesan, Society, Feejee, Tahitian, Samoan, and other islands, could, since they became islands, ignorant as their people were of the compass, have communicated with each other before the arrival of Europeans; yet, they, one and all, maintain that their respective countries extended far toward the west, on the Asian side. Moreover, with very small differences, they all speak dialects evidently of the same language, and understand each other with little difficulty; have the same religious beliefs and superstitions; and pretty much the same customs. And as few of the Polynesian islands were discovered earlier than a century ago, and the Pacific Ocean itself was unknown to Europe until the days of Columbus, and these islanders have never ceased repeating the same old traditions since the Europeans first set foot on their shores, it seems to us a logical inference that our theory is nearer to the truth than any other. Chance would have to change its name and meaning, were all this due but to chance alone." (H.P.B. used the above passage in The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, pp. 788-89.)

We gather a great deal of additional information concerning this ancient continent, which has become currently known among students of the Ancient Wisdom under the name of Lemuria,* (* This name was not introduced by students of Theosophy. It was a term adopted by P.L. Sclater, who asserted, between 1850 and 1860, on zoological grounds, the actual existence in prehistoric times of a continent which he showed to have extended from Madagascar to Ceylon and Sumatra. Haeckel used the same term for the continent he suspected to have existed in former ages. This term is derived from lemur, a word used for various types of arboreal, chiefly nocturnal mammals, allied to the monkeys, yet constituting a distinct suborder, the Lemuroidea. Most of them are confined to Madagascar and adjacent islands.) from the following passage in The Secret Doctrine (Vol. II, p. 333): [10]

"... No confusion need arise as regards the postulation of a Northern 'Lemuria.' The prolongation of that great continent into the North Atlantic Ocean is in no way subversive of the opinions so widely held as to the site of the lost Atlantis, and one corroborates the other. It must be noted that the Lemuria, which served as the cradle of the Third Root-Race, not only embraced a vast area in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but extended in the shape of a horse-shoe past Madagascar, round 'South Africa,' (then a mere fragment in process of formation), through the Atlantic up to Norway. The great English fresh-water deposit called the Wealden - which every geologist regards as the mouth of a former great river - is the bed of the main stream which drained Northern Lemuria in the Secondary Age. The former reality of this river is a fact of science - will its votaries acknowledge the necessity of accepting the Secondary-age Northern Lemuria, which their data demand? Professor Berthold Seeman not only accepted the reality of such a mighty continent, but regarded Australia and Europe as formerly portions of one continent - thus corroborating the whole 'horse-shoe' doctrine already enunciated. No more striking confirmation of our position could be given, than the fact that the ELEVATED RIDGE In the Atlantic basin, 9,000 feet in height, which runs for some two or three thousand miles southwards from a point near the British Islands, first slopes towards South America, then shifts almost at right angles to proceed in a SOUTHEASTERLY line towards the African coast, whence it runs on southward to Tristan d'Acunha. This ridge is a remnant of an Atlantic continent, and, could it be traced further, would establish the reality of a submarine horse-shoe junction with a former continent in the Indian Ocean. (Cf. chart adapted from the 'Challenger' and 'Dolphin' soundings in Mr. Donnelly's, Atlantis, the Antediluvian World; p. 47.)"

In the same work (Vol. II. p. 766 fnote), H.P.B. says that "The continents perish in turn by fire and water: either through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, or by sinking and the great displacements of water." She also explains (Vol. II, pp. 332-33.) that:

"The sinking and transformation of Lemuria beginning nearly at the Arctic Circle (Norway), the Third Race ended its career in Lanka, or rather on that which became Lanka with the Atlanteans. The small remnant now known as Ceylon is the Northern highland of ancient Lanka, while the enormous island of that name was, in the Lemurian period, the gigantic continent described a few pages back. AS a MASTER says (See Esoteric Buddhism, p. 65.): - 'Why should not your geologists bear in mind that under the continents explored and fathomed by them ... there may be hidden, deep in the fathomless, or rather unfathomed ocean beds, other and far older continents whose strata have never been geologically explored; and that they may some day upset entirely their present theories? Why not admit that our present continents have, like Lemuria and Atlantis, been several times already submerged, and had the time to re-appear again and bear their new groups of mankind and civilizations; and that at the first great geological upheaval at the next cataclysm, in the series of periodical cataclysms that occur from the beginning to the end of every Round, our already autopsized continents will go down and the Lemurias and Atlantises come up again?'

"Not the same identical continents, of course."

The approximate time-schedule of these and subsequent transformations [11] becomes apparent from the following footnote (S.D., 11, 433.):

"Says a teacher in Esoteric Buddhism, on p. 64: 'In the Eocene age, even in its very first part, the great cycle of the fourth race men, the [Lemuro] Atlanteans, had already reached its highest point [of civilization], and the great continent, the father of nearly all the present continents, showed the first symptoms of sinking ...' And on p. 70, it is shown that Atlantis as a whole perished during the Miocene period. To show how the continents, races, nations and cycles overlap each other, one has but to think of Lemuria, the last of whose lands perished about 700,000 years before the beginning of the Tertiary period (see p. 65 of the same work), and the last of 'Atlantis' only 11,000 years ago; thus both overlapping - one the Atlantean period and the other the Aryan."

From what precedes it becomes clear that the teachings of the Esoteric philosophy and the findings of modern science converge once again on the field of research. Science is building the foundations upon which certain far-reaching philosophical implications regarding the past history of mankind will be founded in due course of time. We must remember that conclusive and final evidence of a scientific kind regarding the actual existence in remote ages of certain land formations, and even the correct dating of them on the geological scale, is not and cannot be synonymous with the recognition by science of the ancient teaching that such lands were the seat of great civilizations or had anything to do at all with mankind as we know it. Some very remarkable findings would have to be made, and astounding relics would have to be found, before hard-headed scientists concede even the possibility of any type of civilization on lands the former existence of which they are now just beginning to suspect. But the student of Occultism can afford to wait, because time has shown that a progressive accumulation of evidence invariably brings vindication to the ancient teachings, no matter how far-fetched they may have appeared at first.

This subject is a very vast one, and contains a great many subtle and unexpected complications. In the estimation of the present writer, the Theosophical Movement has had but one really outstanding student of this entire subject, who was completely at home in all its intricacies, both scientific and theosophical. This was the late Dr. Charles J. Ryan, for many years associated with the Point Loma Theosophical Society. We recommend his writings on Science and Theosophy. Unfortunately, they are scattered in the old issues of Theosophical magazines. Some day, we hope, they will be collected in one volume, for they contain a comprehensive investigation of the entire geological, anthropological, and occult background of this general subject of submerged continents and their civilizations.

Though the day when science will have recognized the tremendous antiquity of civilized man, and the progressive rise and fall of Root-Races and their sub-races, may be far distant, we nevertheless can see even today how every major development of science is vindicating one or another of the basic propositions of the Esoteric Philosophy. It is necessary for students to point out these developments to other students and to the public at large, so that they may judge for themselves the trends of science and the nearness of its approach to the store-house of truth from which H.P. Blavatsky drew so richly in her writings and work.

Before closing this article, mention should also be made of another very dramatic result of operation Midpac. Scientists of the expedition recovered various types of bacteria from beneath 20 feet of mud. Dr. Revelle found them to be in a state of suspended animation, no food existing for them at the depths from which they were dredged. When brought to the surface and put on a culture medium, the organisms became animated and grew with strength and vigor. Their state of suspended [12] animation may well have lasted millions of years; if so, they would be the oldest living creatures known in the world.

The entire subject of suspended animation will have to be carefully reconsidered by modern science. It involves many occult secrets and points to remarkable potentialities within living organisms. Nor is it limited to bacteria and infusoria alone. Suspended animation is a state into which any living creature can enter under favorable circumstances. Advanced human beings, thoroughly familiar with the occult properties and functions of their own physical and astral organs, can enter into their own corresponding states or conditions of suspended animation. This fact, although reluctantly noticed by science upon occasion has not yet received the close attention it deserves. It is, however, a very important factor in genuine Yoga, and should become, when the time is ripe, of primary importance in a more advanced stage of medical knowledge, physiological as well as therapeutic. Another vindication of the ancient occult teachings lies in this direction.


"... 'the coming of Christ,' means the presence of CHRISTOS in a regenerated world, and not at all the actual coming in body of 'Christ' Jesus; this Christ is to be sought neither in the wilderness nor 'in the inner chambers,' nor in the sanctuary of any temple or church built by man; for Christ - the true esoteric SAVIOR - is no man, but the DIVINE PRINCIPLE in every human being. He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the 'sepulcher' of his sinful flesh; he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him. The 'Son of Man' is no child of the bond-woman - flesh, but verily of the free-woman - Spirit, the child of man's own deeds, and the fruit of his own spiritual labor.

"On the other hand, at no time since the Christian era, have the precursor signs described in Matthew applied so graphically and forcibly to any epoch as they do to our own times. When has nation arisen against nation more than at this time? When have 'famines' - another name for destitute pauperism, and the famished multitudes of the proletariat - been more cruel, earthquakes more frequent, or covered such an area simultaneously, as for the last few years? Millenarians and Adventists of robust faith may go on saying that 'the coming of (the carnalized) Christ' is near at hand, and prepare themselves for 'the end of the world.' Theosophists - at any rate, some of them - who understand the hidden meaning of the universally expected Avatars, Messiahs, Sosioshes, and Christs - know that it is no 'end of the world,' but 'the consummation of the age,' i.e. the close of a cycle, which is now fast approaching ..." - H.P. Blavatsky, in "The Esoteric Character of the Gospels", Lucifer, Vol. I, November, 1887. [13]


Hector Tate

Like the man who frantically chases a moving car in an effort to overtake it, Western nations, today, are unwittingly lagging in their effort to readjust their psychological and ethical attitudes to the quickened historic processes. This delayed adjustment emphasizes that the survival of Occidental culture is at stake. Within a half century the world has witnessed profound and radical material changes that have primed the world stage for the climacteric and sociological events to follow.

In the vanguard of these casualties, history records that the global sectionalism of Western nations died forcibly at Hiroshima, and its passing ushered into being a new age. Humanity has always dreaded change, but never has fear been so widespread as it is today. This mounting fear is a profound manifestation of the increasing deterioration of Western ethical and moral standards. Today, Western nations stand challenged by mankind and history. Past neglected opportunities and abused responsibilities sorely test the moral worthiness of present Western culture. The Occident must undo its own deceptions to avert self-destruction. These illusions, the heritage from former generations, have been caused by excessive commercialization of the individual and the social structure. The mechanics of social atrophy involve the same emotional and mental forces which the collective individual will can use for good. The reorientation of these energies toward world moral stability should be of personal concern to all. If any true progress can be effected in global goodwill, the task lies within the mind of every individual to realize that his thinking can alter the mass opinion which is unreflective.

The problem facing the West is not new or unique. History records that each time Western civilization started declining, the influence of Oriental thought stemmed the collapse. Further historical study beyond the record of events, and into the causes, reveals that the process of inter-action between Asia and the West has resulted in many civilizations. The layman's imagined gulf between East and West has never existed because in the sphere of human cultures, mutually interacting, there can be no sharp demarcation between them in time or space. Today's common ground where the two cultures can cooperatively renew the reconstruction of world unity and understanding is in the necessity of their mutual survival. The constructive approach to the understanding of Asia, for the West, lies in achieving an appreciative knowledge or Oriental philosophy. The inclination to explore this field of human experience has appeared in the past decade among leading scientists, whose attitude is more in keeping with the true scientific spirit than that of their predecessors for several generations. Expressive of this trend among the scientific thinkers of this age was the introductory article by Dr. J.R. Oppenheimer in "The Age of Science" issue of the Scientific American. Dr. Oppenheimer, in discussing the possibilities of Bohr's principle of complementarity, adds that it has emphasized, "the elements of analogy between the scientific tradition and the great traditions of Oriental philosophy, of Lao-tse and of Buddha, a circumstance which may hold some promise at this time, when understanding between diverse cultures seems more imperative than ever before". The need has never been more critical than today. Paradoxically, humanity's progress seems to depend on these periodic crises, with which, as history notes, coincide the appearances of great spiritual minds.

The recurrent appearance of these inspired beings is Nature's way of resolving balance out of chaotic inertia. They are, in a sense, the personification of Bohr's rediscovered principle of complementarity, which is expressed in their all-inclusive understanding of the context of human experience, purpose, and [14] relation to, and between, all other forms of life.

The real significance for the individual in learning the meaning of Oriental philosophy, is not to disparage the immaturity of the West, and the real benefit is to infuse a spirit of discernment which will serve as an expanding impulse of inspiration to dispel the prejudices that obstruct human understanding. These prejudices, that the individual encounters, result from three sources: his background in the formative childhood stages; false semantic connotations; and last, and most subtle, prejudices that grow from ill-conceived concepts which the society of each generation forces upon the individual.

The process or rationale that most effectively dispels prejudiced ignorance and develops wisdom in the individual has been attempted by philosophers and sages from time immemorial. The most extensive penetration on a scientific basis into the causes of human unhappiness has been that of Gautama Siddhartha, the Buddha. The principles underlying the philosophy he taught were the synthesis and distillation of the teachings of previous sages, whose existence future archaeological research will add to the missing pages of history. To begin an analysis of Buddhism, it is necessary to use the connecting threads of ideology between Asia and the West which the Pythagorean system of philosophy developed in Greece. Greece is the prime connecting link because she has been for twenty-five hundred years, the inspirational source for Occidental culture; she in turn was profoundly influenced by Pythagoras, who was deeply imbued with Buddhistic thought. The extent of interaction between Grecian and Hindu cultures is masterfully delineated in Isis Unveiled, (Vol. I, p. 289), written by H.P. Blavatsky some seventy-five years ago, where the author, in discussing the striking sameness of doctrine underlying all the ancient philosophies, says: "The Buddhistic tenets which can never be better comprehended than when studying the Pythagorean philosophy - its faithful reflection - are derived from this source as well as the Brahmanical religion and early Christianity ... It is not in the dead letter of Buddhistical sacred literature that scholars may hope to find the true solution of its metaphysical subtleties ... The mastery of every doctrine of the perplexing Buddhist system can be attained only by proceeding strictly according to the Pythagorean and Platonic method; from universals down to particulars."

Essentially the Pythagorean philosophy is the portal through which the Asiatics and Westerners can see today's cultures, of both East and West, as time extensions from a common parent in the past. Their superficial differences can be resolved by denying credence to the false dogma that destruction is man's inherent nature. The false idols of fear, distortion of truth, and intolerance must go, for they have no place in the world of tomorrow where people will no longer be identified by the geographical region they happen to live in but as citizens of the world.


Where you find unbroken gentleness, enduring patience, sublime lowliness, graciousness of speech, self-control, self-forgetfulness and deep abounding sympathy, look there for the highest wisdom; seek the company of such a one, for he has realized the divine, he lives with the Eternal, he has become one with the Infinite. - James Allen. [15]


Boris de Zirkoff

In a long and informative letter received from our valued friend and collaborator, C. Jinarajadasa, President, The Theosophical Society (Adyar), we are told that there is going to press the first volume of a series under the intriguing title "H.P.B. Speaks." It will consist of unpublished letters written by H.P.B. in the early years of the Movement, and preserved in the Archives at Adyar. The fact that this material will be edited by C. Jinarajadasa himself assures the meticulous accuracy of transcription and an objective editorial background.

The first volume of the series will consist of letters written by H.P.B. from 1875 onwards, the first being letters to Col. Henry Steel Olcott, with brief outline of some of the teachings of the Egyptian Brotherhood of Adepts, (an aspect or sub-division of the all-embracing Trans-Himalayan Lodge), under whose direct tutelage the earliest phase of The Theosophical Society was conducted. The historical background of this early phase is but very little known to the present-day student, and deserves a most careful study.

The volume will also contain H.P.B.'s letters to General Francis J. Lippitt, one of her early staunch supporters and friends, as well as H.P.B.'s Diary for 1878 recording incidents before her departure for India.

Other volumes of this series will contain some letters written by H.P.B. to her aunt, Miss Nadyezhda Andreyevna de Fadeyev, to whom she was greatly attached. These letters have been recently discovered in England. A number of letters from H.P.B. to her great friend, Prince Alexander Mihailovich Dondukov-Korsakov, will also be published. These letters, written partly in French and partly in Russian, had traveled far and wide over the face of Europe, and passed through many hands, until they were discovered and deposited in the Archives. General Dondukov-Korsakov was an outstanding military leader, and, in the years 1882-90, directed civil authorities and military forces in the Caucasus.

It is also planned to publish a rather long manuscript of H.P.B.'s, now in the Archives, which is a translation made by her of a narrative written by her sister, Vera Petrovna Zhelihovsky, concerning various interesting experiences and events in the early life of H.P.B. Portions of this information were utilized by A.P. Sinnett at the time he wrote his Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky (London: George Redway, 1886).

We are eagerly awaiting the appearance of the first volume of this projected series, and hope it will receive the attention which it deserves from all those interested in the final vindication of H.P.B. before a skeptical and unbelieving world.

The actual date of publication, and the price of the first volume, have not yet been announced. Doubtless, we will hear about this very soon. The Editorial Offices of Theosophia will be glad to accept orders for this volume. We hope to hear from our friends and subscribers. - Editor.


Many persons, being forbidden to praise themselves, learn instead to censure others, which is only a roundabout way of praising themselves; for condemning the conduct of another, in any particular, amounts to as much as saying, "I am so honest, or wise, or good, or prudent, that I could not do or approve of such an action." This fondness for ourselves, rather than malevolence for others, I take to be the general source of censure and backbiting ... - Benjamin Franklin, as quoted in The American Mind in Action, by Harvey O'Higgins and Dr. E.H. Reede, p. 167. [16]


H. P. BLAVATSKY Collected Writings.
For the Year 1883.
Published by the PHILOSOPHICAL RESEARCH SOCIETY, INC. Los Angeles, California.

Initial volume of a uniform American Edition of H.P. Blavatsky's entire literary work, to consist of a considerable number of volumes. Highly important and profound teachings from the store-house of the Trans-Himalayan Esoteric Knowledge, some of them written down by H.P. Blavatsky from the direct dictation of her own Teacher, and other Adepts of the Occult Brotherhood.
A fitting contribution to the Cause of the Theosophical Movement, in commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Theosophical Society on American soil in 1875.
This Edition is a LIMITED one. A large part of it has already been sold by means of advance orders. An early order is advisable, to insure securing a copy before the edition is exhausted.
448 pages. Illustrations. Bibliography. Copious Index.
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